Where Is God When It Hurts?
If you could ask God one question and be guaranteed an answer, what would you ask? When Barna Research asked this question in a national survey in the USA, the primary response was: ‘Why is there pain and suffering in the world?’
The short answer is: Christ’s first coming was to save us from the penalty of our sin; His second coming is to save us from the presence of sin and restore paradise lost. But at some point in your life you will face pain and suffering. Job was a good and godly man, yet all ten of his children died tragically in a single day. ‘Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her…“Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.’ (Job 2:9–10 NKJV)
Notice two things about adversity. First, the opposite of integrity [wholeness] is fragmentation; we either fall apart or draw closer to God. Second, what we say is crucial: ‘In all this Job did not sin with his lips.’ Yes, he grieved deeply. And he had lots of questions for God, including unanswered ones. Yet when he spoke later, here’s what he said: ‘He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.’ (Job 23:10–12 NKJV)